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Judicial Watch • JW v State Soros Romania documents 00667 pg 9-16

JW v State Soros Romania documents 00667 pg 9-16

JW v State Soros Romania documents 00667 pg 9-16

Page 1: JW v State Soros Romania documents 00667 pg 9-16


Number of Pages:8

Date Created:October 29, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:October 29, 2018

Tags:Governments, Reporter, Europe, 00667, Romania, important, Strong, Strategic, Soros, Russian, partnership, documents, government, unclassified, American, department, FOIA, states, Washington, united

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UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State
Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
embassy the
United States America
.4-~ ~r. Livi~ Llb~escu Bd.
District 015118
Press,Office Phone: (+40)21)003694, (+40) 2i2003695, Fax: (+40) 2003723
Bucb~r~st, Romania
....... ~----
... -----....
February 22, 2017
DAS Hoyt Yee: Thank you all first for your patience and apologies for being late.
very happy back Bucharest after some time now. The purpose visit try meet with officials the Government since the
elections, both the United States but also here reaffirm Americas
support for the Alliance have with Romania and the Strategic
Partnership have with Romania; also discuss our cooperation
across many different areas and how can strengthen that
cooperation; and happy answer any your questions.
Reporter: You already know that the main events here Bucharest were the protests
because action the Romanian Government the night
January when they tried change the penal legislation overnight and had open letter signed six foreign ambassadors, the U.S. was
among them. quote: the Government action can only undermine
Romanias stand the international community and risks damaging partnerships that are based common values. would like you
elaborate little bit this what exactly could happen the Romanian
Government would try again weaken justice legislation. What you
exactly mean saying about the risk damaging partnerships? Thank
Hoyt Yee: Well, thank you for your question. Let begin emphasizing that the
United States and Romania have very strong Strategic Partnership and
fully expect that that going continue and get even stronger. Thats our
goal. Also, Romania and United States course are NATO, were NATO
allies, NATO partners, were friends and every way can were going
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State
Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
work strengthen our cooperation. The incident that you mentioned Dan
something that Washington and other capitals think around Europe have
followed very closely. Because believe understand the people
Romania also believe that rule law any democracy extremely
important. Important first all for the country itself; its important for
democracy order strong, resilient, able meet the needs
and wishes its citizens, must have rule law. And you probably heard
last Yeek Brussels, also Munich from some the leaders
government Vice President Pence, Secretary State Tillerson that
believe that the relationship between Europe and the United States based the common values democracy, freedom and rule law. other
words, our shared goal promoting peace and prosperity the transatlantic
area not simply one that weve chosen randomly, but its based shared
heritage, shared experience and most importantly shared values. And those
values are important foundation for our cooperation. any country whether its Romania any other country with whom have strong
relationship, particular NATO allies, course pay attention the state rule law, just the economies, the political situations all
our partners and friends countries because important for the stability and
security those countries, but its also important the NATO alliance when involves NATO countries, its important the United States. think
what our message that statement was both the statement that you refered
to, Dan, that was joint statement from six embassies think, the statement
from Washington that was issued about the same time our emphasis
our strong attachment rule law, our belief that its important the
relationship for both countries, all countries involved committed,
demonstrate that commitment those values and its like any organization,
any institution, any structure, there has base, there has
foundation. And for that base the values that mentioned. those
values are strong, the commitment those values strong, actions taken the governments uphold, reinforce those values, then the organization
structure going strong. the foundation weakened, the
commitment those values weakened, that inevitably going affect the
rest the structure. our goal again help strengthen the rule law,
help. strengthen the commitment all those values, all the commitments,
including you heard also our leadership Munich and Brussels talk about
the need for all NATO allies for example devote their gross
domestic product towards defense. This another example where want see our allies meeting their commitments, fulfilling their obligations.
Fulfilling obligations also entails commitment rule law.
Reporter: Dan already mentioned the protests that weve seen the last weeks
Romania, there have been some unprecedented street movements supporting
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State
Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
the rule law. The international press was covering these protests. was
wondering what did you think them, did they come sqrprise? And
what you think the political establishment should learn from these
DAS Hoyt Yee: Well, was not surprise that the people Romania would
demonstrate large numbers favor rule law and against any
perceived efforts weaken rule law. That didnt surprise us, fact
was inspi~ing, was something that Washington and sure many
capitals people admired very much see democracy action, see people
standing for their beliefs and sending clear messages their elected
representatives. And think was very notable and think appreciated
that the Prime Minister shortly after the demonstrations backed away from
the initiative, the changes the Criminal Code that had been the impetus,
the cause for the demonstrations. That shows responsiveness what the
people were protesting against. that gives confidence that democracy strong Romania. think also something that want continue
watching just there are saw even today some protesters maintaining their
vigil outside the Government buildings. think thats symbolically
important but also reminder that all are interested and should
interested what the next steps will be. are hopeful, are confident
the Government will take the right steps reassure the citizens its
commitment rule law and that will take the necessary steps
reassure its allies, including the United States, that remains committed
this very important value which the Strategic Partnership, the NATO
Alliance fact based.
Reporter: guess you are aware were briefed that many Romanians dont trust their
government because they tried pass the Emergency Decree no. ...
have simple question: you trust this government reliable partner?
DAS Hoyt Yee: You know, its new government just government relatively
new and think both governments are going through process discovery initial steps and reviewing policies, launching new initiatives. So,
think both governments are now getting know one another, thats one
the reasons for visit here, get better idea which direction the
government going various issues, including rule law but also,
beyond, course, security,. economy, energy security. And all these
issues are going examined very carefully through dialogue, through the
normal diplomatic discourse before make any definitive conclusions.
Whats important think that have this dialogue between all our
NATO allies. have the open lines communication, our Ambassador
here, Ambassador Klemm, who you know quite active, was quite active
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State
Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
over the last several weeks explaining the Government our concerns,
our views what should happen. are confident the Government
listened; the Government heard what our concerns were. And that what
important this stage, that were able exchange views, listen each
other, respect each others views, and eventually reach conclusions. So,
would say are confident again that the Government listening us, the
Government aware whats stake and the need reassure its
partners, its allies, that still committed those values which have
built, which want continue building the strongest possible
Reporter: The provisions Emergency Ordinance no. are longer the problem
the Government because the Government abrogated the Emergency
Ordinance. But have reasons believe that many politicians the
Parliament want reenact the provisions the Ordinance. have this
problem now: what the Parliament will really such thing because the
rule law includes all the law, not only ... [incomprehensible]. How you
see this possible development the future?
DAS Hoyt Yee: Well, you raise very good question because course let begin
answer saying that obviously, the United States obviously
respects the sovereign right Romania and its elected leaders pass
laws, propose laws, pass laws, make policy, make decisions.
And the views expressing, again, are expressed behalf
country that close friend and ally Romania. certainly
believe its important for any friend, for any ally Romania express
our views, explain when have concerns, have done and
should continue that. mentioned earlier, certainly hope
that the Government going take steps that first strengthen the rule law, not weaken it.
Reporter: The law, not the rule law ...
DAS Hoyt Yee: Again, there are going think number options and number
possibilities and dont want speculate which the best one,
which the right one. That really the Government and the
Parliament and ultimately the people decide. But what can say
that this new government Washington, the Government President
Trump, through his Secretary State, through his Vice President, has
made very clear that important value for rule law,
important principle with regard our relations with other countries
accountability; that will hold accountable our allies and partners; just weve heard for many weeks now, will hold accountable our allies
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State
Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
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FOIAF-2017-16510 Judicial Watch, Inc.
for meeting their obligations within NATO, meet the defense
investment pledge the GDP; will also hold them
accountable, other words expect that they will fulfill their
commitment rule law, democracy and freedom. will
vigilant, will express our concerns have them. Again,
expect, are hopeful, are even confident the Government going take steps that are going reassure its citizens and its allies.
Can you tell who you met from the Government, Grindeanu,
the Prime Minister and who else? Mr. Dragnea?
DAS Hoyt Yee: Unfortunately did not ~ave that opportunity but did meet with
member the Presidents Office, advisor the President. met with official the Ministry Foreign Affairs. met with
prosecutor the DNA and meeting with you. Tomorrow will
see the Mayor Constanta and speak students the Ovidius
Reporter: very, very short question: you have any information that Russia
involved the recent decision the Romanian Government the
propaganda field way another, that intensifying actions
DAS Hoyt Yee: dont have any evidence that Russia has played role the
Governments decisions, any the Governments decisions. far
Russias involvement media, you would know better than think
about Russian activities there. But are concerned Washington
about what describe Russian malign influence, the spreading
misinformation, the spreading rumors~ reports through media outlets
that are supported sympathetic Russia certain Russian
politicians, not only this part Europe, but more widely and even country. Thats why feel its very important support free
media, freedom speech, professional free media; also support civil
society, not any one particular orientation type civil society, but
vibrant, diverse civil society that able act freely, without fear
retribution. also feel its very important for governments have
strong institutions generally, judicial, executive legislative.
Countries with weak institutions tend less able less capable
resisting Russian malign influence other outside malign influence.
And thats another reason why believe its important for rule law strong. Where rule law strong, where the free media
strong, where institutions are strong, Russian propaganda, Russian
malign influence less successful. And course, should mention
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
also economically, from the standpoint growing economies,
difficult times Europe, those economies which have rule law,
which have the advantages functioning judiciary, functioning
prosecutions and functioning legislatures, there better investment
environment generally. Companies, whether theyre American,
theyre European countries, like where the rule law strong. thats another reason why hope very much the rule law will
continue strong Romania.
You have said that both governments are taking the initial steps
know each other after the elections the U.S. and Romania. What
would you say would the main point concern for the Strategic
Partnership after. the election, this new situation, there any point concern?
DAS Hoyt Yee: Well, think our main concern, our main desire for the
between Romania and the United States that gets stronger, that our
partnership and cooperation broadened and deepened. the many
areas ~ooperation have now, particularly the area security,
where have the closest possible cooperation, where our troops are
shoulder shoulder Afghanistan. you know there are American
troops recently arrived here Romania show part our reinforced
deterrence this part Europe. many ways our security
partnership strong. want see become even stronger; dont
want see weaken any way. The same the area commerce
and investment, think there potential grow that relationship.
our concern again that that continues grow, not get weaker. And specific area, not repeat too often, but_ rule law, again, our
desire se~ the rule law strengthened, not weakened, and for that continue to) one the bases, one the foundations our
relationship and our Strategic Partnership.
There are many American corporations Romania. they feel
threatened the recent hostile_ messages from the Government? What the risk this kind message? And have another small question:
what would you tell someone who believes that George Soros behind
the protests Romania?
DAS Hoyt Yee: Well, the first question: think you probably saw the statement from the
American Chamber Commerce, early February, about the same
time the six embassies released their statement and Washington and
European capitals released their statement. There was obviously lot
concern for the reason mentioned earlier: that there direct
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State
No. F-2017-16510
Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
via FOIA Judicial Watch, Inc.
connection between the rule law and the attractiveness country destination for investment, commerce. think the businesses were
alarmed the change the Criminal Code and the signal that sent
about the Governments commitment rule law. the same token think governments were relieved see the Governments step back
from that move and hopefulness from businesses that have been quite
happy Romania, quite successful Romania, that there will continue rule law, there will continue interest maintaining interest the Government, institutions here maintaining
attractive business environment that will continue receive foreign
direct investment and more interest from other companies from around
the world. think have seen evidence that there any complicity, any kind
role corporations, companies whether American others
protests. that the rumor youre referring to? have seen evidence that. fact, least for American companies think its highly
unlikely that they would involved. Its not something that,American
companies could justify their stockholders. would probably
illegal participate some kind political process without
transparency. So, think its highly unlikely. What seemed apparent that the hundreds thousands people that were protesting
peacefully and want repeat, peacefully Romania, that there
was genuine concern and genuine desire send message the
Government. dont think was something that was fabricated
abetted somehow corporations.
DAS Hoyt Yee: Soros? Ill very quick that. Again, see evidence1 factual
basis for claim that any one NGO, including the Soros Foundation
Open Society somehow behind these protests any the
demonstrations around Romania could say around Europe, because
many other countries where there are demonstrations, where there
civil society activity that not completely line with the
Governments, see these same accusations, that somehow
through Soros, the United States Government the European Union
behind it. think governments will begin see that thee citizens dont
need this kind encouragement financial support stand for
their rights, that the citizens themselves have strong desire for rule
law, for better future, for jobs and higher standards living. one
needs bribe them fund them stand for that.
Reporter: One final question: this visit yours was provoked this Emergency
Ordinance affair was previously scheduled?
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State
No. F-2017-16510
Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018
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DAS Hoyt Yee: was the wonderful weather that heard Romania has. have been
planning come Romania for several weeks. fact, was trying
come earlier but there was snow storm that interfered, its not iri
connection the events. Its overdue, would have preferred come
sometime earlier. Even though weve focused this issue rule
law and understandably, quite justifiably so, there are many areas
which were cooperating extremely closely with the government and
military Romania. There are many areas which were trying
increase the cooperation and ~hat was the main focus visit today. course, the rule law issue did come up, but Yill continue this
dialogue, getting know the new government, both ways, finding how
and discussing specific ways can strengthen the partnership and
preventing from getting weaker.
Richard Silver (U.S. Embassy Press Attache): Thank you all very much. Deputy
Assistant Secretary Yee, would you like offer one final sentence
sum your time here.
DAS Hoyt Yee: Just that its wonderful here. cant emphasize enough how much respect the role media any democracy. You have very
difficult job, you have deal with people like me, but appreciate
very much the effort that you put info ensuring that the citizens
Romania are informed about what happening, about what people like have say and hope that you will continue. look forward
continuing our contacts.
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department State Case No. F-2017-16510 Doc No. C06601183 Date: 07/12/2018